Who earns more and why? A multiple mediation model from personality to salary

Spurk, Daniel; Abele, Andrea E. (2011). Who earns more and why? A multiple mediation model from personality to salary. Journal of Business and Psychology, 26(1), pp. 87-103. Springer 10.1007/s10869-010-9184-3

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Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate multiple indirect Big Five personality influences on professionals’ annual salary while considering relevant mediators. These are the motivational variables of occupational self-efficacy and career-advancement goals, and the work status variable of contractual work hours. The motivational and work status variables were conceptualized as serial mediators (Big Five → occupational self-efficacy/career-advancement goals → contractual work hours → annual salary). Design/Methodology/Approach We realized a 4 year longitudinal survey study with 432 participants and three points of measurement. We assessed personality prior to the mediators and the mediators prior to annual salary. Findings Results showed that except for openness the other Big Five personality traits exerted indirect influences on annual salary. Career-advancement goals mediated influences of conscientiousness (+), extraversion (+), and agreeableness (−). Occupational self-efficacy mediated influences of neuroticism (–) and conscientiousness (+). Because the influence of occupational self-efficacy on annual salary was fully mediated by contractual work hours, indirect personality influences via occupational self-efficacy always included contractual work hours in a serial mediation. Implications These findings underline the importance of distal personality traits for career success. They give further insights into direct and indirect relationships between personality, goal content, self-efficacy beliefs, and an individual’s career progress. Originality/Value Previous research predominantly investigated direct Big Five influences on salary, and it analyzed cross-sectional data. This study is one of the first to investigate multiple indirect Big Five influences on salary in a longitudinal design. The findings support process-oriented theories of personality influences on career outcomes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Spurk, Daniel

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

0889-3268

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Daniel Michael Spurk

Date Deposited:

27 Mar 2015 11:22

Last Modified:

21 Aug 2018 13:28

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s10869-010-9184-3

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.65687

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/65687

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